United Airlines today launched non-stop flights between San Francisco and and Hangzhou, making it the only direct service between the two cities.

A growing centre of technology and economic development, Hangzhou is the fifth mainland destination served by the American carrier. It is also the fifth international route the Star Alliance member has launched since May, following Auckland, Singapore, Tel Aviv and Xian.

Flight UA982 departs San Francisco every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 1420, and arrives in Hangzhou at 1810 the following day. The return flight, UA983 takes off from Hangzhou at 1055 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, before touching back down in San Francisco at 0750.

The San Francisco–Hangzhou service is operated by the B787-9 Dreamliner, which features a two-class configuration, with 48 seats in Business First (business) and 204 in economy – of which 88 have been designated as Economy Plus seats with extra legroom.

“The Hangzhou service is a great addition to our growing portfolio of mainland China destinations, including three interior cities that no other airline serves from the United States,” said Marcel Fuchs, United’s vice president of Atlantic and Pacific sales.

“This new route provides US travellers with convenient access to one of China’s most dynamic cities, while giving Chinese travellers direct access to United’s premier San Francisco gateway with options for onward connections to our extensive network of service throughout the US, Canada and Latin America.”

For more information, visit united.com

Clement Huang